J. Douglas Barics
"I consider myself primarily a problem solver, and I look at my job as helping good people out of bad situations."
I handle a wide variety of complex divorce and family law cases, both at the trial level and on appeal. Since many family law issues don't fall neatly into the confines of the domestic relations law, I expanded my practice to include foreclosure defense and other areas closely related to matrimonial law such partitions and constructive trusts. I consider myself primarily a problem solver, and I look at my job as helping good people out of bad situations. By taking a broader holistic approach, it allows me to see solutions that others may miss.
My approach is straightforward. People need resolution and solutions. Agreements, negotiations, litigation and appeals are only the tools used to obtain these answers. More often than not a voluntary agreement that is fair is always results in a better long term solution, since neither person views themselves as the winner or loser. Winning a case to me is reaching an agreement that both people think is fair. A fair agreement greatly reduces the odds that either side will want to return to court.
"Winning a case to me is reaching an agreement that both people think is fair. A fair agreement greatly reduces the odds that either side will want to return to court."
Reaching a fair agreement doesn’t always come easily, and often, fair agreements can only be reached from a position of strength. That means having the ability to take a case to trial, and if necessary, an appeal. In my 25 years of practice, I have found being ready and able to go to trial is the single best way to avoid a trial to begin with.
I welcome people with complex legal issues, especially those which other attorneys said they couldn't solve. I am a self admitted procedural rule aficionado. My favorite part of my work is making a difference who face complex challenges. My grasp of the CPLR and ability to figure out how to use existing rules and law in novel ways is something that I pride myself on.
“My favorite part of my work is making a difference for clients who face complex challenges”
In college I began as a math major and I am not shy around numbers. While abstract algebra, group and ring theory may not have practical applications in the law, my ability to analyze numbers does, and I can often spot hidden or missing assets through my mathematical skills.
As an appellate attorney, I pride myself on my ability to hone in on details and present extremely complex facts and issues in a clear fashion. Often times, the best appellate arguments only appear once the facts are finely honed into a concise and clear presentation. Unlike the theatrics that accompany courtroom litigation where thinking fast is just as important as knowing the law, appellate litigation requires the ability to study, research, analyze, and apply the law to the unique facts to each case. Slow and steady is the approach in appeals.
My preferred clients are those those who are willing to learn and understand the process and be involved as their case moves forward. In fact, these are the clients who inspired me to create many of the articles contained here. I don't expect clients to have the answers. My role as your attorney is to teach you how to ask the right questions. To that end, all clients are given the information they need to understand the process, are told the options, risks, and likelihood of success an failure.
Some people are simply not in a position to deal with their legal issues head on. In some situations, it can take years before someone is in the right frame of mind to do so. In these cases, I will do my best to explain the issues involved in your case in a way you can absorb. The key here is to understand that one of the most difficult aspects of moving forward is facing these issues. This is especially true when people have been in an abusive or controlling relationship. Representing anyone coming out of an abusive relationship means they have been conditioned not to trust themselves. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing people get comfortable in their own skin as they get to be their own decision maker, sometimes for the first time in years.
"The most rewarding part of my job is seeking people get comfortable in their own skin as they get used to being their own decision maker, sometimes for the first time in years"
I grew up on Long Island. My father was an engineer who escaped to the USA from Hungary following the 1956 uprising and being imprisoned by the Communist government for his actions. He was involved with the space program, working on various aspects of the Apollo program. In 1972, he began working for Grumman.
I attended Sachem High School, and SUNY at Stony Brook. I started as a math and physics major, but decided that wasn't for me. After a period of trying different majors, I found political science and history to be a better fit. My undergraduate history was focused on United States foreign policy. My political science days though were a unique time. I learned the basics of obtaining intelligence from satellite photos, learned how to conduct detailed analysis on various countries nuclear programs and accurately predicted when Pakistan's program would produce their first bomb using only public information. I also got to meet various high level policy negotiators during the IMF treaty negotiations with the Soviet Union.
What drew me to law was one man. Professor Martin B Travis. He taught his class on International Law like a law class. The challenge of reading and absorbing a tremendous amount of information under tight time constraints was when I realized a path in law was right for me.
I attended Brooklyn Law School, graduating in 1993 and was admitted in 1994. My first job was with a Andrew A. Bokser, the founder of a premier boutique family law firm in downtown Brooklyn. There, I learned both how to be an attorney but also the mechanics of being a lawyer. It there that I realized that working with individuals, not large corporations was a better fit for me, and I could use my skills as a lawyer to make a real difference in people's lives. Matrimonial law in particular covers such a broad range of issues that you have to continue learning.
In 1996 I began to accept my first clients on a part time basis, and by 1998, I opened my own practice.
I moved my office from Brooklyn to Great Neck in 2000, where I worked alongside the late Robert E. Nowak. Mr. Nowak was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge, a good attorney and a good man. I learned quite a bit from him.
From 2000 to 2002, I was an adjunct professor at CUNY college, where I taught New York family law for paralegals. I had to stop teaching following the birth of my twin daughters in 2001.
From 1996 to 2001 I was certified as a Law Guardian for Kings County.
I lived in Brooklyn from 1990 to 1994, moving there when I attended Brooklyn Law School. In 2015 I moved my office to Suffolk County which is where I live with my lovely wife, two teenage daughters, and two goofy dogs.
Education: S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook University B.A. (1987). Brooklyn Law School J.D. (1993).
Memberships: Suffolk County Bar Association
Valente v Cabral (2nd Dept. 2019)
Represented Wife, who married before her first divorce was finalized. Matrimonial action commenced by husband after 16 years of marriage. Action dismissed, denying wife maintenance and equitable distribution. Reversed in favor of wife, matter sent back to Supreme Court for determination of wife's share of marital estate and support.
Central Mortgage v Resheff (2nd Dept. 2016)
Represented homeowner. Bank prevailed in motion for summary judgment and obtained judgment of foreclosure. Judgment reversed in favor of homeowner.
Kaiser v Kaiser 2013 N.Y. Slip Op. 02047 (2nd Dept. 2013)
Represented husband following divorce trial. Judgment affirmed in favor of wife, partially reversed in part in favor of husband.
Mure v Mure 92 AD3d 653 (2nd Dept. 2011)
Represented wife following a divorce in which both parties appealed. Wife withdrew her cross-appeal. Husband’s appeal dismissed in favor of Wife due to failure to prepare sufficient record to allow appellate review.
Schleger v Stebelsky 79 AD3d 1133 (2nd Dept. 2010)
Represented mother who appealed from a Family Court order which declined to exercise continued jurisdiction on an interstate custody matter following a misconduct hearing under the UCCJEA, DRL 76-g. Matter transferred to Florida. Reversed in favor of mother, with New York retaining jurisdiction.
Bowe v Robinson 23 A.D.3d 555 (2nd Dept. 2005)
Represented mother. Father appealed from a Family Court order that denied father’s request to modify custody. Affirmed in favor of mother.
Robinson v Fisher 275 A.D.2d 326 (2nd Dept. 2000)
Represented mother who was awarded custody in Family Court. Father appealed. Appeal dismissed in favor of mother based on father’s failure to comply with CPLR 5525.
Oyang v Jeng (2nd Dept. 1999)
Represented former wife who appealed. Husband sought to evict ex wife and children. Wife asserted a counter-claim for constructive trust. The lower court granted the ex-husband’s motion to strike the counter-claim of the constructive trust and assert defenses to ex-wife’s claims. Reversed on appeal in favor of wife.